• Lauren Chamberlain, Shelby Pendley among Top 10 finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

    staff reports | Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    Oklahoma softball seniors Shelby Pendley and Lauren Chamberlain are each among the Top 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, as announced Wednesday. Pendley and Chamberlain are among the national leaders in home runs. Pendly is tied for second nationally with 24 homers, and Chamberlain is tied for 15th with 19. In April, Chamberlain broke the all-time NCAA record for career home runs with the 91st of her career. The University of Florida also has two players among the finalists. USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 10 Finalists Alexis Bennett, UCLA, OF, junior Emily Carsone, Auburn, INF, junior Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, INF, senior Sara Groenewegan, Minnesota, P, sophomore Lauren Haeger, Florida, P/INF, senior Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon, P, junior Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma, INF/P, senior Sierra Romero, Michigan, INF, junior Kelsey Stewart, Florida, INF, junior Shelby Turner, Central Florida, P, junior The top three finalists will be announced May 20, with the winner revealed May 26. Former Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts was the last Sooner to win the award in 2012 and 2013.

  • Sam Bradford success with Philadelphia Eagles is up to Chip Kelly

    Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    Eagles head coach Chip Kelly wanted to move up to No. 2 in the NFL Draft. Heck, Kelly entertained moving up to No. 1 before trading up for Sam Bradfordn. But he wasn't willing to "mortgage the future." Now, Sam Bradford is a part of that future. ESPN.com's Phil Sheridan says it's easy to look at Bradford as a bust like other first-round quarterbacks before, but Bradford's circumstances were different. Now, Sheridan says, it's up to Kelly how much Bradford can succeed. Bradford has his old offensive coordinator back from his Rookie of the Year season. "As a rookie in 2010, Bradford played for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was on Reid’s staff when McNabb was being developed. Bradford completed 60 percent of his passes and was named the AP offensive rookie of the year," Sheridan said. "It is the opposite of the situation Bradford had in St. Louis. Everything is in place for a quarterback to succeed."

  • Floyd Mayweather Hit With $20 Million Defamation Lawsuit

    Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    Fresh off of his victory in the ring against Manny Pacquiao, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is facing another battle, this one in the legal system, The Wrap reports. Mayweather has been slapped with a $20 million by his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris, who claims Mayweather defamed her during an April interview with Katie Couric.

  • Deflategate probe clears Bill Belichick, suggests Tom Brady aware of tampering

    Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    An investigation into the so-called Deflategate scandal concluded it is more likely than not that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" by two team employees that resulted in balls being deflated in the AFC Championship Game, USA TODAY reports.  The report, released Wednesday by attorney Ted Wells, found "it is more probable than not that Jim McNally and John Jastremski participated in a deliberate plan to circumvent the rules by releasing air from Patriots game balls," but found no wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, coach Bill Belichick and his assistants, or equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld.

  • Smartphone video of boxing clash lands blow to copyright

    Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    The boxing match billed as the fight of the century is over, but the battle over smartphone video streaming of the Las Vegas showdown is just beginning. Revelations that dozens of smartphone users streamed the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather weekend fight have raised questions about how new technologies can get around copyright restrictions imposed at live venues such as sporting events and concerts. There are no reliable figures, but thousands of people may have watched the fight via the Twitter-owned app Periscope, which allows any smartphone user to "broadcast" live video, and independent app Meerkat. Similar questions arose last month when HBO sent notices to Periscope over piracy of its "Game of Thrones" series.

  • OU's spring game attendance among best in college football

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, May 5, 2015

    OU had a spring game showing that ranked among the best in college football. The Sooners drew 42,807 fans to the April 11 game, ranking 10th in attendance among Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Defending national champion Ohio State drew a nation's best 99,391 to its spring football game. Oklahoma had the highest spring football game attendance among Big 12 schools. The Big Ten (five) and Southeastern Conference (four) had nine of the Top 10 attendance figures this spring. Top 10 College Football Spring Game Crowds 1. Ohio State, 99,391 2. Nebraska, 76,881 3. Penn State, 68,000 4. Alabama, 65,175 5. Tennessee, 63,016 6. Auburn, 62,143 7. Michigan, 60,000 8. Michigan State, 48,000 9. Georgia, 46,815 10. Oklahoma, 42,807

  • OU ranked No. 22 in Phil Steele's projected AP Top 25

    Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    College football guru Phil Steele recently released his projected Associated Press Top 25 for the 2015 season, and OU clocks in at No. 22. While the Sooners are noticeably absent from Mark Schlabach's Too-Early Top 25, Steele says the Sooners will definitely be there when the AP releases its first list before the season. Steele also offers a little optimism for an OU team that will likely start outside of the AP's preseason Top 10: "One thing that is certain in life is that Bob Stoops' Sooners will be ranked in the preseason AP top 25. After Stoops' first season as OU coach, the Sooners have been ranked all 15 seasons, including 13 times among the top 10. In only one other season did Oklahoma not finish ranked (2009) and the following year it won the Fiesta Bowl and finished No. 6. We also have yet another team returning only 13 starters, and in the past seven seasons OU has had more than 13 returning starters only once, which was in 2011 (15 were back). In the two seasons that Stoops' Sooners were ranked outside of the preseason top 10, they went from No. 19 to No. 1 (winning a title in 2000) and from No. 16 to No. 6 in 2013, which was topped off with a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama." Steele makes a point to emphasize that the projections aren't his preseason top 25, but a prediction of how he thinks the initial AP Top 25 will look. Oklahoma State does not make Steele's initial projections for the AP preseason Top 25.

  • Warriors' Stephen Curry voted NBA's MVP over Harden, James

    Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    Some called him too small. Others too fragile. Now, Stephen Curry has a new label: NBA MVP, The Associated Press reports. The Golden State Warriors' point guard won the league's top individual award Monday, beating out Houston's James Harden in a race that turned out not to be that close.

  • NBA player crashes kids' dance routine

    Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    Tony Allen – Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard, sainted King of All Things Gritty and Grindy – will not cede his court-space for anyone, Yahoo Sports reports.  Least of all you kids, with all your dancing and bebopping. The Golden State Warriors crowd, denied a chance to watch an adorable children’s dance routine, understandably booed heartily.

  • Junior A hockey coach keeps $8K from teen goalie too sick to play

    Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    The mother of a 17-year-old goalie sidelined by serious illness is appalled by the conduct of his hockey coach, who kept $8,000 in fees from her son — for a season he missed entirely. "All he wanted was to play hockey," said Aline Maalouf, of Mississauga, Ont. "It just ripped me to pieces, the pain that he's in physically — and this is just adding to it." "I had to have my parents help me walk … I was going through so many things," said her son.

  • NBA's Carmelo Anthony marches in Baltimore

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    In the caption of the Instagram post, the  New York Knicks  All-Star forward — who was born in Brooklyn, but raised in West Baltimore — extended sympathies to the family of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19, one week after sustaining a "significant spinal injury" while in the custody of Baltimore police after being apprehended on the morning of April 12  for reasons that remain unclear , Yahoo Sports reports.  He expressed frustration at how peaceful protests of the lack of answers from police as to how Gray sustained his spinal injury while in police custody boiled over into violence, looting and riots following Gray's funeral on Monday. He called for justice, for answers, for peace and for an end to the destruction of a community that had already suffered so much. On Thursday, 'Melo decided to send a different message by marching with protesters.

  • Report: Browns believe they can land Sam Bradford

    Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    The Cleveland Browns reportedly believe they have a good chance to trade for Sam Bradford. Does that mean the Eagles plan to go after Oregon's Marcus Mariota in the draft? The Browns have two first-round picks in tonight's draft, and are reportedly willing to part with their 2016 first-rounder in order to move up to the No. 2 spot. The Tennessee Titans currently have the No. 2 overall pick. ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested Thursday morning that the Eagles could deal Bradford to the Browns.

  • VIDEO: Florida creates classy Billy Donovan tribute

    Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Billy Donovan is the new coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a move the University of Florida saw coming, as it released a video tribute on Thursday via gatorzone.com. The 1-minute, 50-second video is pure class, and pays homage to Donovan's impact throughout his 19 years in Gainesville. From gatorzone.com: "Eight years after he backed out of a deal with the Orlando Magic, it was going to be hard for Billy Donovan to leave the Gators again. This time, though, it was the right time; the right situation."

  • Billy Donovan: Here's the Thunder's official statement announcing the hire

    Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

      The Oklahoma City Thunder's official statement announcing the hire of Billy Donovan as head coach: OKLAHOMA CITY, April 30, 2015 – The Oklahoma City Thunder named Billy Donovan the team’s new head coach, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Donovan becomes the third head coach in Thunder history after spending the past 19 years at the University of Florida where he led the Gators to two National Championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715). “We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today's NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program. His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy's core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.” ‎ Billy's core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization. During his tenure at Florida, Donovan led the program to 16 straight 20-win seasons, three 30-win seasons, 17 consecutive trips to the postseason and six SEC Championships. Under Donovan, Florida has advanced to the Elite Eight in six of the past 10 seasons. “We warmly welcome Billy and his family to Oklahoma City,” said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder Chairman. “He is the perfect fit for our organization and for our community and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.” After winning back-to-back national championships (2006 and 2007), Donovan led Florida to 18 straight postseason wins, the longest run for any program since John Wooden led UCLA to 28 straight postseason wins. This past season, Donovan became the second youngest coach in NCAA history (Bob Knight) to claim 500 career wins. “I am honored and humbled to be named the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew that it would take a unique opportunity to leave the University of Florida and that is clearly how I look at this situation,” said Billy Donovan, Thunder Head Coach. “The Thunder represents so many of the values that I embrace as a head coach; the commitment to the team above oneself, the dedicated pursuit of excellence, the commitment to organizational culture, the identity they have established and the fact that the Thunder and the community are so intricately woven into the fabric of one another. To have the ability to work with such a talented and high character group of players is also rare, and I am excited to forge ahead creating those relationships. It is of course bittersweet as the University of Florida will always hold a very special place in my heart and in my family's. I've had the good fortune of working with the best athletic director in the country in Jeremy Foley over the last 19 years, and I'll be forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity and his friendship. Countless players, students, and other people in the administration were responsible for our success and for the meaningful connection we had with the Gainesville community. I have a deep appreciation for what the University of Florida will always mean to me and I'll forever be a Gator.” Donavan has been the recipient of numerous collegiate coaching awards including ESPN.com’s National Coach of the Year (2001), the Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” Honor (2010) and SEC Coach of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014). In addition to his responsibilities at Florida, Donovan has served as head coach of USA Basketball’s U18 and U19 National Teams in each of the last three summers. As a head coach with USAB, Donavan’s teams have captured three gold medals while going a perfect 19-0 during national team competition. Prior to leading the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Team to the gold medal last summer in Colorado Springs, CO, Donovan guided the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team to a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal in Prague, Czech Republic and the 2012 USA U18 National Team to a 5-0 slate and gold in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil. Donovan’s coaching experience dates back to the 1989-90 season where he served as a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky. After five years with the Wildcats, Donovan was hired as head coach at Marshall where he spent two years before leaving for Florida. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Donovan enjoyed a four-year playing career at Providence where he helped lead the Friars to their best season in school history and a trip to the Final Four in 1987. In addition, Donovan appeared in 44 games as a member of the New York Knicks during the 1987-88 season.

  • Report: Billy Donovan 'leaning strongly' toward taking Oklahoma City Thunder job

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The Billy Donovan-to-Oklahoma City reports are gaining momentum. ESPN is quoting sources that say: -- "The job is Donovan's to lose." -- Expectations in Gainesville, Fla., where Donovan is the Florida Gators coach, are increasing that he "is good as gone." ESPN says Donovan is leaning strongly toward taking the job.

  • Billy Donovan: University of Florida source confirms Donovan in talks with Thunder

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    A source at at the University of Florida confirmed to The Gainesville Sun Sun columnist Pat Dooley that Florida coach Billy Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in discussions. The school is awaiting word from the veteran coach whether or not he will return to UF for his 20th season.

  • Rangers ban capital letters on Twitter during Capitals playoff series

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The New York Rangers Twitter account is fighting the Washington Capitals the only way it can: with terrible grammar, Mashable reports. As both teams prepare for the next round of the playoffs, the Rangers took a bold stance against the Washington Capitals by banning all capital letters from their tweets during the series. Good luck coming back from this one, Washington Capitals.

  • Billy Donovan's track record of focusing players on the 'team over the individual'

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Kevin Brockway of has covered Billy Donovan for The Gainesville Sun since 2003. With the Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly in talks with Donovan to make him OKC's next coach, here's Brockway summed up Donovan's potential as an NBA coach in a recent blog post: "One NBA source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, thinks that Donovan could have similar success: 'There aren’t a lot of coaches I’m high on from college making the jump, but Billy is one of them,” the source said. “I think he’s smart. I think his offense would work well and I think he understands it’s a players league and the importance of relationships with players.' "Another factor is Donovan’s ability to teach intangibles that go into winning. There are 10 former Gators in the NBA playoffs, more than any other program. Donovan not only develops players from a skill standpoint, but finds ways for players to accept and thrive in roles that promote the greater good of the team over the individual."

  • Mike Gundy says 2011 Oklahoma State team would have beaten LSU 'by three touchdowns'

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The 2011 Oklahoma State football team was one of the best in school history, but was left out of the BCS National Championship game. Had the Cowboys made the game over eventual champion Alabama and received the chance to play LSU, however, Mike Gundy says OSU would have won ... by a lot. "I don't think there's any question that we would have won by three touchdowns," Gundy told the Tulsa World. "We could score with anybody." Gundy is right about the scoring part. Led by quarterback Brandon Weeden, wide receiver Justin Blackmon and running back Joseph Randle, the Cowboys finished third in the country in points (48.3) and total offensive yards (545.8) per game in 2011.

  • Commentary: Billy Donovan has Thunderous NBA offer he won't be able to refuse

    Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi thinks Billy Donovan will soon be coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder. "Donovan, I've written many times, should stay at the University of Florida for the rest of his career and go down as one of the all-time coaching greats in college basketball history. “Then again, who can really blame Donovan for leaving UF when he has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Not many first-time NBA coaching candidates have the opportunity to become an entry-level coach on a championship-ready team with two  superstars -- Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook -- on the roster. If Donovan takes over and immediately wins a championship with the Thunder, he will become the hottest coaching name in America -- a college legend and an NBA rock star all rolled into one. “And if the situation doesn't work out in Oklahoma City; if the Thunder don't win the title and Durant and Westbrook end up leaving in the next two seasons, so what? Donovan can stay with the Thunder for three or four years, collect $7 million annually in NBA salary and then head back to college if he fails. Just like his mentor Rick Pitino. Just like his predecessor at Florida, Lon Kruger. Just like John Calipari.  Just like all the top college coaches who flame out in the NBA.”